Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Gave a Goat Today

'Tis the season of giving. And I gave a goat today to someone, who will nourish her hungry children with its milk.

I never imagined that being a parent would make me so sensitive to a child's suffering. And among so many painful, sad stories associated with children suffering around us, near, far, all around the world, giving a goat or sheep might make a tiny part of it a little better. And the gift will be long lasting, offering a hand to free from the grip of poverty.

So, my choice of the charity this year is Heifer Project International. There's a Knitting Basket gift we could give to a family to produce an income from the spun/knitted items too!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Half Over

It's rare that we get four days straight off from work. One of the reasons why I love Thanksgiving. Going into the break, I was really engaged into knitting a hooded vest for my son, but the eve of Thanksgiving as I was finishing the back piece, I realized that I was going to run out of the yarn if I just went straight to the front pieces. It has cable center borders on the front that continue to the hood, so I could knit that part in a contrasting yarn. But of course the yarn store would be closed for Thanksgiving. So on the Turkey Day I spun the last hunk of Lisa Souza's silk/merino roving, instead of knitting, while the turkey cooks in the oven. I will have about 1,000 meters of sport-weight yarn by the time I finish plying this.

Oh yeah, I blocked the Column of Leaves scarf, finally.

I threaded a nylon string on the long edges and pinned them onto the ironing board.

What a difference blocking makes on a lace scarf!

I wore it to the trip to Knitterly today, but it was too warm, actually for a knitted scarf. It was 75 degrees outside, and ladies were walking in tanktops!

After lunch, we shopped at a bookstore. I bought a copy of Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop for $7.50! What a great day to walk around the town. No Black Friday at department stores for this household.

We are off to Erin's house for Knit Night in 40 minutes! Gotta decide. Wheel or Yarn?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


My son was watching the TV today, cuddling his stuffed animal on his lap. He pulled a small fur from his "puppy," and examined it closely.

"Mommy, look. Spinnables!"

My son. Good boy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ready for Winter

I'm done with Crosspatch, and I'm ready for Winter.
I didn't run out of the handspun yarn -- I have just a small handful left. The pattern by Elizabeth Morrison calls for a ball each of 100-meter yarn, but my estimate is about 60 meters each for MC (gray in my version) and CC (brown), in case any spinners want to knit this with shorter-than-100-meters yarn. I used US 9 needles.

This is only my second FO with my handspun yarn! And since it was something I actually needed, I'm really proud.

This is called mosaic knitting, and this was the first time I ever tried. Mine looks more bumpy, compared to Elizabeth's smooth mosaic pattern, and I'm not sure if it's my lack of technique or my unevenly spun yarn. But I still like it.

My Column of Leaves scarf remains unblocked. I hope I'll get my act together on it soon.

I've also started on a new pair of socks -- the first pair as Christmas gifts. I'm using the Knitpicks Options metal DPNs for the first time. It's fast -- but I have to pay attentions so they don't slip off the stitches. Something I never needed to worry using my bamboo DPNs.

I can't believe it's Thanksgiving next week! Winter's in full swing.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What a Week

Last Friday Mitch started coughing. By the evening it was a full-blown croup, and he was barking like a little lost seal. Of course it had to be a Friday evening. Of we went to the After Hour Pediatric Clinic.

He had a high fever, and the cough was awful. Hard to see a little kid go through this. The first night he woke me up six times, crying. It's rare.

His regular pediatrician is on vacation (the timing was perfect), and we got an appointment with another doctor on Tuesday. By then I was having a bad feeling -- may be pneumonia. Oh yeah. I was right. On a strong antibiotic, he's rapidly recovering -- what a relief.

Staying home with him and trying to work at the same time is pretty tough. I feel sluggish.

But I've finally finished Brooke's Column of Leaves scarf!

I used 2.3 hanks of Blue Sky Alpaca Sport. The picture is before blocking, which is essential to this pattern. I hope to get to it later this week...

I've also started on Crosspatch with my handspun.

I'm worried that I might run out of the yarn... It's always a problem with knitting with handspun; at least for me it has been. I love the pattern though. I also am in love with the yarn -- very lofty and light. The gray yarn has the handful of mohair I got at the Apple Fair blended in it. I wanted to knit a warm hat for my winter trips to Toronto/Montreal. I was going to go to Toronto next week, but with Mitch being sick and all, I've decided to cancel it.

Maybe tomorrow Mitch will be well enough to go take a walk with me. It's been beautiful outside, but we've been cooped up!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bye Bye Pumpchins

So Halloween is over, and the time has come to take down the bats and spiders. My son has enjoyed trick-or-treating, but he enjoyed treating the kids that came to our door even more.
Mitch gingerly went into the scariest house on the block.

Um, Mom.... Um, can you ding-dong for me?

As soon as the resident of the haunted house appears, Mitch waved to him, backing off, apologizing. "Eh, um, sorry, I just wanted some candies, but it's okay, I don't want it anymore." I was doubling over, laughing.

By the way, my son wanted to be Harry Potter again. What a good boy.

Oh, yes. I've been spinning a lot. Last Friday evening, Huguette, Erin and I went to the bakery to have our first FlourChylde Knit Night. I spun. It was quite interesting to see people stopping to look at what I as doing. If you live in Novato, the bakery will be open Friday evenings, and they serve wine. Come out and knit (or spin) with us!

A week worth of spinning. From left to right -- blend of mohair (from the Apple Fair) and a merino/alpaca roving (from Lambtown), dark-brown merino/alpaca (from Lambtown), green romney (from California Wool and Fiber Festival). The left two hunks are the result of my trying to spin thicker than my regular spinning. I'm planning to knit Crosspatch. I'm not sure if I have enough yardage.

Blending the mohair and the merino/alpaca was fun -- I am a fan of mohair now. It makes the fiber so lustrous and soft.

OK, can I have an angora goat in the back yard? Just one?